Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk review – blood and guts, but no heart

Millennials get their revenge in this violent dystopian satire from the Fight Club author, but where’s the passion?

Chuck Palahniuk’s passionately provocative 1996 debut Fight Club hit a zeitgeist moment in the dying years of the 20th century, channelling the spirit of exhausted consumerism and disaffected masculinity. A wry satire on self-help groups and slacker culture, it was a gloriously acerbic swansong for that fin de siècle spawn we called Generation X. Two decades on and some 14 novels later, a new generation has come of age and found itself in Palahniuk’s telescopic sights: the millennials.

In Adjustment Day the problem with the next crop is its very abundance, particularly the males. America is suffering from a “youth bulge”, a surplus that risks causing civil conflict or worse. The German academic Gunnar Heinsohn warned that all great upheavals in history are due to an excess of young men, and so ...